KenCen organ to be used more in 2013-14


The National Symphony Orchestra beneath the Rubenstein Family Organ, which will finally see a little more use in its second season. (Margot Schulman)

There will also be three more postlude concerts after NSO performances; three Millennium Stages performances featuring the organ, and a couple of individual organ pieces cropping up on NSO programs. So, yes, there will be more organ programming than there’s been this year. Something else notable: the low prices. Most of the abovementioned events are free, or free to NSO ticketholders; the three big-name recitals are the only exceptions, and they cost a mere $15. One would like to see in this a democratic message rather than an implication that there isn’t much of a market for organ music.

It seems to me, however, that the Kennedy Center has missed an opportunity for community building and getting its new organ on the map. Washington is a town full of organists, and all of them would be happy to try the Kennedy Center’s new organ. If I were programming, I’d schedule a festival of local organists, one every few weeks, even perhaps having each organist play the same program twice, once on his or her regular church instrument, and once on the Kennedy Center organ. Only a very few people would want to go to both, but each concert would help to raise the artist’s and instrument’s visibility and help generate some energy in the community.

However, since I’m not programming, I will announce myself very happy with a chance to hear Carpenter and Jacobs in a single season, and be content.

Anne Midgette came to the Washington Post in 2008, when she consolidated her various cultural interests under the single title of chief classical music critic. She blogs at The Classical Beat.

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